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July 9, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Gilead studies an inhaled formulation of remdesivir – EC signs supply deals for Merck and Roche’s Covid-19 drugs

By Allie Nawrat

9 July 2020 

Russian pharmaceutical company R-Pharm has secured regulatory approval for the use of its antiviral drug Coronavir to treat Covid-19 patients. The approval comes after a clinical trial in mild to moderate Covid-19 patients showed that the drug is highly effective in blocking replication of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease.

Emergent BioSolutions has partnered with the Mount Sinai Health System and ImmunoTek Bio Centers for the development, manufacture and clinical testing of its hyperimmune globulin product, COVID-HIG, against Covid-19. The partners will conduct a post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) study in high-risk populations, with $34.6m funding support from the US Department of Defense.

Researchers in India and the US are planning to perform joint clinical trials to assess Ayurveda formulations as potential Covid-19 treatments. Following a call from the Indo-US Science Technology Forum (IUSSTF), several proposals were received for joint Covid-19 research. These proposals are currently being reviewed by experts in both countries.

The European Commission (EC) has signed separate deals with Roche and Merck for the supply of investigational Covid-19 drugs, according to Reuters who cited an EC source. The deals, which involve Roche’s arthritis drug RoActemra and Merck’s multiple sclerosis drug Rebif, will see supplies to any of the 27 European Union (EU) member states.

Gilead Sciences has launched a Phase Ia clinical trial of an inhaled version of its experimental antiviral drug, remdesivir. The trial will assess the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of the new formulation in about 60 healthy participants aged 18-45 years in the US.

French Osivax has secured more than €30m in public funding for the development of universal vaccines against coronavirusesE and influenza. The company noted that its oligoDOM technology allows the development of vaccines that could protect against all viral influenza strains. The same approach will be used to develop a universal vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 and other future coronavirus strains.

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